St Winefride’s Well is a remarkable place on the River Dee estuary in Wales near Flint.
The well is a Catholic place of pilgrimage for healing built in memory of St Winefride. The legend is that a young woman, Winefride, had her head cut off here by Caradog after Caradog had tried to rape Winefride and she had resisted his sexual advances. Winefride was restored to life by her uncle and became a nun, dying 22-years later. Winefride herself was real and had an extraordinary life in seventh-century Wales. She became a saint on her death and the well at Holywell became a place of Christian pilgrimage and healing from then.
Today, if you visit, there is a chapel and buildings over the well and a pool for fully immersed bathing, which is still allowed at certain times of day. Visitors can also drink the water. There is a small museum that has a vast collection of wooden crutches that have been discarded by previous visitors and there is a shop selling religious objects. The website gives more information about the well.
This memorial bench caught my eye as it is dedicated to another Winifred who died in 2010 after 87-years. I hope that this is the obituary for Winifred Martha Price and not just a coincidence. This obituary tells a story of a woman who was very much loved and a family whose Catholic faith was important. Winifred Martha Price lived in Bromsgrove which is some distance from Holywell but erecting a bench here in this important shrine and overlooking the well may have bought comfort to the family.